Advices from the class members and sensei:
- Take large steps for taiatari.
- Sharper cuts for kirikeishi.
- Put more pressure forwards and don't retreat once during attack.
I had only the time yesterday evening to have a jigeiko with Ozawa-sensei. I was happy enough with my performance. I wasn't caring that much about winning but holding my centre and my posture. I tried to go through every time when I struck men regardless of if my kote was hit (which happened a few times yesterday). I think sensei thinks jigeiko for me is not important at this stage, instead I should concentrate on Kihon. So, my jigeiko was a combination of sparring and uchi-komigeiko. Afterall, I never expected I can win a 7th Dan at the stage of kendo I am in. Perhaps I hit target, but so what? The beauty of kendo is what counts. In the past week, I have learned that the kendo style many people consider amazing and powerful in Europe are considered as kids' kendo in Japan. The past week has been overwhelming for me just to look at the people in Kobukan training and having matches with each other. There is a goal which everyone is working towards, but in their own different ways. Sometimes even how they hit is different. Some people use more shoulders and less wrist, and some people do the opposite. Sensei told me one should always do big cuts in kihon for ten years, and then he can start to think about doing small cuts. For me, he said, 5 more years.
After the training I went for a drink and some food with Kuroda-san. It was a very pleasant chat with him, and I am very happy to see him and Yasuko again in Japan. He was watching my match with sensei this evening and gave me some very valuable advices.
- The chance for debana-kote or men is when the opponent moves his left foot forwards. So one should be careful about this, and also try to identify the chance.
I said to him that in five years we will have a shobu. :)